Food Standards Scotland (FSS) commissioned the Jump/RedTree/SMG research consortium to conduct qualitative research with consumers to explore their views on eating outside the home (OOH) and to provide an independent report of their findings.
This research was commissioned to support the FSS public consultation on ‘Proposals to improve the out of home food environment’ which ran between November 2018 and February 2019.
The key findings of the report include:
- Eating OOH is viewed as the norm, and is justified as a ‘treat’
- Consumers recognise that they typically eat less healthily OOH, but most would like to eat more healthily when OOH
- Consumers generally support the idea of calorie information for food being bought OOH, and that this should be mandatory
- Consumers also felt that industry should be encouraged to reduce fat, salt and sugar in OOH foods, and that the cost of healthy foods should be reduced.
- Consumers recognised that it was often difficult to feed their children healthy food OOH. Key initiatives that were supported included the development of healthier children’s menus and offerings for children, ensuring smaller portions of healthier adult menu options are available, and limiting promotions and meal-deals which encourage unhealthy behaviours from a young age.
- Consumers also felt that more work should be undertaken to ensure school age teens are eating more healthily during lunch breaks